Last Sunday, I participated in “Operation Bosslift.” This venture was put together by the Employers Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR).

ESGR flew 58 of us to the mainland on a Hawaii Air Force Reserve KC-135 in order to view Reserve and Guard Operations. We observed the following while on the mainland:

*Live fire exercises by Hawaii Army Reserves with weapons that ranged from machine guns to TOW anti-tank rockets.

*The Naval Post Graduate School

*The Defense language Institute

*129th Air Rescue wing (a California Reserve outfit) in operation

*Coast Guard operations at Treasure Island

We then flew home on the same KC-135 tanker, and were fortunate to observe two in-flight refuelings of the Hawaii Air Guard F-15’s.

This whole trip was extremely fast paced, exciting, informative and quite memorable.

Thirty seven years ago, I was an Air Force pilot getting my flying time in the KC-135, refueling fighters heading into the Vietnam theater of operations.

A few years later, I flew fighters. This put me on the receiving end of the “gas passers.” So, you might say that I’ve done this before, and it was certainly great reliving my past. Many memories came flooding back to me.

This trip provided numerous memorable events and impressions. The most memorable experience of all was the people involved. Every Reservist and Guard member that I came in contact with was a true professional. All were very well trained, well equipped and awesome to observe in action.

Being a former pilot, I naturally paid very close attention to the tanker crews and the F-15 pilots during their refueling. I was very impressed! These folks were so professional and proficient in the performance of their duties — duties which for the most is a part-time job. What an amazing accomplishment!

I now have a new-found respect and admiration for members of the Reserves and the Guard. I am truly grateful for their sacrifices on my behalf, on behalf of Hawaii and on behalf of the United States.

You can bet that I will staunchly support them in any way, shape or form that I can.

”’Jack Schneider, owner of JS Services, an employee leasing company in Hawaii, can be reached via email at:”’ mailto:jschn@lava.net

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